I've been experiencing a case of the 'never enough's' lately. never enough time, never enough sleep, never enough energy. I catch myself several times a day, stopping, and refocusing on what I am grateful for and cultivating compassion for myself, in order come back to a place of self-acceptance. And, well, as it turns out, I need some extra help with all of it.
Shawn Anchor's TEDx Talk on "The Happiness Advantage" is hilarious and awesome. Plus, in his opening, he talks about a time when he was seven years old and his little sister fell off the bunk bed and broke her leg while under his supervision. Running the risk of getting in big trouble from his parents, he told his little sister that there was no way that a human could fall of a bed that way. So, she must in fact be a baby unicorn. Duh! Anyway, Shawn believes our brains function significantly better when we experience positivity in the present as opposed to a neutral, negative or stressed state. He challenges his listeners to rewire the patterns in their brain by practising gratitude for 21 days and recommends writing down three things a day that they are grateful for, in order to do this. I don't know about you, but I'm buying it! Plus if it gets me closer to being an actual unicorn... ; )
I happen to think that practising gratitude and acceptance of self go hand in hand. Really, how can we be truly grateful if we believe we are not enough, just as we are?
Brené Brown is one of my favourite researchers and I had the privilege of attending one of her talks a couple of years ago. I also recently finished reading her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, which I loved. If you're not familiar with her, Dr. Brown researches human connection. She has two particularly famous TedTalks on the power of shame and vulnerability and I encourage you to watch them, if you're interested. In her research, Dr. Brown finds that those of us who experience a strong sense of love and belonging, experience it because we believe we are worthy of it. Similarly, it's the fear of not being worthy of love and belonging that keeps us from experiencing it. It's that simple. Right? Anyway, I think she's pretty rad.
So, how do we experience worthiness? We have to believe we are enough, just as we are. Enter, compassion. I believe compassion for self plays a huge role in all of this, as well.
In my work with Shivani Wells, I spent a lot of time sitting with compassion. Particularly, the idea that there is not one of us without hurt, or suffering, or pain. In fact, I would go so far as to say suffering is what connects us all. Once we heal our own pain, we can begin to heal others. And I believe this lives in compassion. We must be kind to ourselves, first.
So, how am I going to practise all of this? A while back, I saw a great DIY on one of my favourite blogs that I follow Mind Body Green about making a gratitude jar. I remember thinking at the time that this sounded like a really cool idea, and then I kind of forgot about it. It came up again this week, and this time I decided to get crafty and make myself one. I grabbed a mason jar (bien sûr!), some pretty stationery, a pair of scissors, some ribbon, a label maker, and got to work.
There aren't any rules other than the jar should be glass, so you can see all that you're grateful for :) The idea is that every day, or even several times a day, you write down something you are grateful for on a pretty piece of paper, and drop it in the glass jar. Put it somewhere where you can see it, and when you're experiencing a case of the 'never enough's', you've got a crystal clear reminder that you have everything you could possibly ever need, right now.
you are missing nothing,